Tennessee, Virginia Tech finally have their deal

Chick-fil-A Bowl, not Bristol the destination

A deal never materialized in Bristol.

But Tennessee and Virginia Tech found a willing broker in Atlanta.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl finally handed out formal invitations on Sunday, and after a few negotiations and a lot of clamoring, the Vols and Hokies will at last meet again. It won’t be at a racetrack, but the Georgia Dome and New Year’s Eve (TV: ESPN, 7:30 p.m.) will apparently work just fine.

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“The good news for our fans is we’ve got the matchup,” UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said. “It’s going to be a hot ticket for Tennessee and Virginia Tech.”

That’s long been the assumption about a showdown between the regional powers, which is why there have been persistent rumors about getting them together in the Bristol Motor Speedway infield to capitalize on the interest with the maximum amount of seating.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl committee even joked about moving this game to a similar venue in Atlanta if the teams are interested, and it might eventually want to, given the relatively low supply of tickets left.

The Vols (7-5, 4-4 SEC) had sold 11,000 tickets before the game was even officially set, and the rest of the allotment on UTtix.com was expected to move quickly — and the situation was virtually the same for the Hokies (9-3, 6-2 ACC).

“I think it’s a great game for Virginia Tech and the fan base here at Virginia Tech, and I hope Tennessee feels the same way,” Hokies coach Frank Beamer said. “We’ve been talking about getting together for a long time, but I always felt like we were going to have to sell a lot of binoculars if we got together (in Bristol) because the seats are so far away.

“I think it’s just great to play a program like Tennessee, rich in tradition, of course we’re fairly close to each other, so for our people I know they’ll be very excited to play a program such as Tennessee.”

The Hokies haven’t had a chance since the 1994 Gator Bowl, though both athletic directors have worked to try to arrange another meeting since then.

Hamilton and Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver were close to a deal for a game at some point over the last couple seasons before changes to the infield in Bristol killed it, and now their future schedules are both tied up for about 10 seasons.

“We’ve talked about it as recently as a couple months ago as a possibility for down the road, but the first availability we had was for like 2019 or ’20,” Hamilton said. “We’ll go back and revisit that at some point. And a little-known fact, I don’t know that we really shared this, we actually did throw a date out there at one time with Bristol Motor Speedway. That’s been talked about a bunch and it didn’t work out as something they could have done.

“We’ve talked about it periodically, we’re not opposed to doing that, but now with our schedules as they are, it would be about 10 years from now.”

Obviously neither fan base will have to wait that long anymore.

A traditional venue had an opening that certainly worked for both parties, and nobody is complaining about what could be one of the best matchups of the postseason.

“There’s no question our fans have wanted this game for a long, long time,” Weaver said. “They’ve been talking about it as long as I’ve been here going back 13 years.

“This is something that the Hokies have wanted to do, and we’re just delighted that it’s worked out.”

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Comments » 82

hokies4ever writes:

The VOLS had better be ready here comes Beamer ball.

GahLee writes:

I hate ESPN, once again they put the Lady Vols logo up, this marks the 3rd time.

Down_The_Field writes:

will anyone sell me a slightly used cincinnati bearcat shirt?

i've already borrowed a texas shirt.

lshiple2 writes:

in response to hokies4ever:

The VOLS had better be ready here comes Beamer ball.

Hooray! A rival fan that isn't from Florida or Alabama. Could it be.... a 'loper with CLASS? Be still my heart.

Seriously though welcome aboard, don't feed the Gators or the Elephants, they're too full of phooey to hold anything else

mdvol writes:

Just bought my tix! Hotels in downtown Atlanta are crazy expensive. So much for the recession. Anyone know where the Vols will be staying in Atlanta?

BasketballVol writes:

I'm going to eat exclusively at the Christian Chicken Kitchen to support the bowl that wisely picked my Vols. Don't they serve something like a Hokie?

Vols 24 VT 20

Ring in the New Year as Peach - I mean Chick-fil-a - Bowl Champs!

kdaff51 writes:

Anyone notice that good ole Dave Clawsen has his Bowling Green Falcons in a bowl game?

lshiple2 writes:

in response to kdaff51:

Anyone notice that good ole Dave Clawsen has his Bowling Green Falcons in a bowl game?

I'm not surprised. He put us in the Toilet Bowl last year.

Heh heh, I made a funny

Volsrbest writes:

Got my tix too! Turkey for New Years Eve! Go Vols!!

mattnchatt writes:

Can't wait. We haven't had much success lately in the dome vs. the ACC but that was under the old regime. Kiffin will make sure the Vols are ready, still we'll be the dogs in this one but I like our chances. Go Big Orange.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

in response to hokies4ever:

The VOLS had better be ready here comes Beamer ball.

You're correct - we'll lose if we don't step up our special team's play. I do think we can put up more yards and have more plays defensively - but I expect this to be a great hard-fought game.

Mikeah writes:

Finally the game I have been waiting on since 1994. This will be the same result. My brother went to UVa and I have a lot of friends that went to Tech, both good schools but not in our league. Hope we kill them and shut up the wantabes. We should.

BaronUT writes:

Lots of tickets still available through VA Tech. Seems the dome will be rocking the Big Orange.

billwall writes:

I have a friend who is on the inside of Auburn football. He told me before the season started, "I see where you guys got Eddie Gran from us. Don't let him coach your special teams. He was awful coaching our special teams." And he was right....UT had awful special teams play as well. Then he said the other day, "Do you know why Auburn is going to the Outback Bowl? It is run by a bunch of Florida grads and they hate UT and will do anything to keep UT out of a Florida bowl." It had nothing to do with the promise of tickets sold.

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to billwall:

I have a friend who is on the inside of Auburn football. He told me before the season started, "I see where you guys got Eddie Gran from us. Don't let him coach your special teams. He was awful coaching our special teams." And he was right....UT had awful special teams play as well. Then he said the other day, "Do you know why Auburn is going to the Outback Bowl? It is run by a bunch of Florida grads and they hate UT and will do anything to keep UT out of a Florida bowl." It had nothing to do with the promise of tickets sold.

ummm...the Out back bowl is run by a KY grad.

WinkeyVol writes:

I see a lot of Hokie fans here in upper east Tennessee.They talk a lot of trash.I can't stand 'em. When they get behind they start playing dirty.ROLL BIG ORANGE ROLL. Show 'em what SEC football is really like!!!

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to Post_In_Waiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Phil is that you, still cant find a job ? you pathetic pos

jsm67vol writes:

This should be a great matchup. If vols don't give up big plays to their special teams, we have a great chance to pull off the upset. Go Vols!!!

steve22043#233791 writes:

The last couple of times we went to the Peach Bowl I was really disapointed. This year I was hoping we'd go to the Cotton Bowl in the new Cowboys stadium so I could take my 5 year old to see it. That would have been awsome. When it became obvious that wouldn't work out I really didn't care so much. How did the Cotton Bowl become a second tier bowl game? When I was growing up it was one of the big four. I lived in Canada and Europe for about ten years and somewhere along the line it got moved down in the hierarchy.

tulelakevol writes:

Hee Haw!! Here come the Hokie Hackers!! I like our punk kid of a coach. I like the fact that lopers feel the urge to come talk smack, because that's all it is. I like our final spot in the SEC east given our preseason standing. But most of all, I like the mouse's ear.

rootin4volz writes:

Get those SPECIAL TEAMS in shape Vols...Cause they WILL be coming to block some punts and kicks.

p66ayers#1376155 writes:

in response to Post_In_Waiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Glad you already know we will be playing in bigger bowls from here on. Don't be surprised, wanna be. As far as CLK goes, not bad for a first year coach. Almost beat a couple of "top teams" Gave alot of us a good year.

normdia writes:

in response to mdvol:

Just bought my tix! Hotels in downtown Atlanta are crazy expensive. So much for the recession. Anyone know where the Vols will be staying in Atlanta?

The team is staying at the Hilton in Downtown Atlanta...

http://www.chick-fil-abowl.com/FanZon...

NavyChiefVol writes:

in response to lshiple2:

Hooray! A rival fan that isn't from Florida or Alabama. Could it be.... a 'loper with CLASS? Be still my heart.

Seriously though welcome aboard, don't feed the Gators or the Elephants, they're too full of phooey to hold anything else

I wouldn't get too excited about a wolf in sheep's clothing. They are probably one of the regular lopers, just changed their name.

WinkeyVol writes:

Beamer stays at Virginia tech because instead of raises they give him more tobacco allottment. Thats better than gold in Virginia. Work on the kicking game and lets play some " KIFFIN " ball.Roll Big Orange!

PAROLE_tide writes:

I just got 4 tickets from hokietickets.com. They still got lower level endzone seats $70 each, uppers for $60.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to aniratopz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good choice.They leave the light on for you.

tonyvick#213307 writes:

in response to steve22043#233791:

The last couple of times we went to the Peach Bowl I was really disapointed. This year I was hoping we'd go to the Cotton Bowl in the new Cowboys stadium so I could take my 5 year old to see it. That would have been awsome. When it became obvious that wouldn't work out I really didn't care so much. How did the Cotton Bowl become a second tier bowl game? When I was growing up it was one of the big four. I lived in Canada and Europe for about ten years and somewhere along the line it got moved down in the hierarchy.

The Cotton Bowl could come up with the money to be one of the top bowls but the teams were complaining that it was much too cold in the old stadium. It may get some consideration in the future now that it plays in Jerry's Palace.

rockydog writes:

in response to aniratopz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You meant Motel "Give Him Six", right?

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to billwall:

I have a friend who is on the inside of Auburn football. He told me before the season started, "I see where you guys got Eddie Gran from us. Don't let him coach your special teams. He was awful coaching our special teams." And he was right....UT had awful special teams play as well. Then he said the other day, "Do you know why Auburn is going to the Outback Bowl? It is run by a bunch of Florida grads and they hate UT and will do anything to keep UT out of a Florida bowl." It had nothing to do with the promise of tickets sold.

Eddie was here for recruiting Florida, not his coaching, and your right about the alum thing. Look what just happened in the Gator bowl. That scum running that thing is a FSU alum and they invited a 6-6 Bowden over a Miami team that had 3 more wins and beat FSU this year. ...also, the Clemson faitful here is SC could care less about Nashville, all over the radio this am.

Southland writes:

lets hope we dont have to punt or kick a field goal and hold our breath for an extra point. Find a kicker that kick it out the back of the endzone

rocky_topper writes:

Lower Levels available at VA Tech site. They put all theirs directly to public instead of filling donor orders first. Check link out out:

http://ev12.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncomme...

Other UT sites are all over it, and it will be full of the Big Orange. Be sure to let your Tennessee friends know about the tickets and link. Again, they are lower level!

Cash writes:

I'm originally from Va and there is nothing I despise more than Va Tech. Been waiting a LONG time for this.

GO VOLS !!! beat the living $^|7 out of the Chokies. They've already had a dose of SEC this year, let's finish their year with it.

and I can't help this, but, I'm so glad the boys from Fla got pounded. now that was fun !

GreensboroVol writes:

in response to GahLee:

I hate ESPN, once again they put the Lady Vols logo up, this marks the 3rd time.

I saw that too and it irritated me. I guess that's what you get when the women's teams have to have a seperate logo. They can't just use the "power T" like everyone else. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of the Lady Vols.

randyarnold writes:

Notice how none of the posted stories tell you how much tickets cost (not to mention hotel rooms, etc.)? Guess it's the old "If you have to ask, you can't afford it." So much for the 10+% unemployed in the state. At least the state legislators want me to have a gun to carry.

OTPVol writes:

My Vol friends still in God's country, my advice is stay at a hotel North of I-285 and take advantage of MARTA while you're in Atlanta. Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Roswell, Doraville, all of them are close to Marta stations and it is a whole lot easier and more economical than fighting traffic in downtown ATL, especially on New year's Eve.

Also, I love how the netowrks are already dissing us and not giving us a chance. Kind of like Florida and Bama. We'll see.

topgun writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

Phil is that you, still cant find a job ? you pathetic pos

Chrisw..With such a well thought-out, intelligent, deeply introspective post about CPF, we all have to believe that you have done so much more for the University of Tennessee and, of course, all of the UT sports programs than CPF!! If not, STFU!!

VolJunkie writes:

As far as hotels go, it all depends on where you want to stay. Obviously downtown Atlanta is going to cost more, $230+/night plus parking. You can stay by the airport, get a free airport shuttle and take MARTA to the game for about $69/night. I always like the Marriott brands:

http://www.marriott.com/search/findHo...

Go Vols!

ctownvol writes:

in response to OTPVol:

My Vol friends still in God's country, my advice is stay at a hotel North of I-285 and take advantage of MARTA while you're in Atlanta. Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Roswell, Doraville, all of them are close to Marta stations and it is a whole lot easier and more economical than fighting traffic in downtown ATL, especially on New year's Eve.

Also, I love how the netowrks are already dissing us and not giving us a chance. Kind of like Florida and Bama. We'll see.

Stay out of Doraville unless you are fluent in Vietnamese and/or Spanish. If UT doesn't play in one of the major bowls I always want them in the Chiken Bowl. It's 35 miles away and I can sleep in own bed! I'm happier than Tim Tebow pushing around a wheelbarrow full of foreskins!

atlvolsfan writes:

in response to mdvol:

Just bought my tix! Hotels in downtown Atlanta are crazy expensive. So much for the recession. Anyone know where the Vols will be staying in Atlanta?

Did you order at uttix.com? If so, did you have a choice of seat/section? I pre-purchased last week and the range was $60-$80 with no seats/section options available. Apparently UT fans pre-purchased 11,000+ tickets before the announcement. Now on the website, there are only $60 seats left (whatever that means)

Anybody have an idea how this thing works with regards to seats?

OTPVol writes:

in response to ctownvol:

Stay out of Doraville unless you are fluent in Vietnamese and/or Spanish. If UT doesn't play in one of the major bowls I always want them in the Chiken Bowl. It's 35 miles away and I can sleep in own bed! I'm happier than Tim Tebow pushing around a wheelbarrow full of foreskins!

On the other hand, if you like Vietnamese, Asian, or Mexican food, Doraville (Buford Highway) is awfully hard to beat..

ctownvol writes:

in response to OTPVol:

On the other hand, if you like Vietnamese, Asian, or Mexican food, Doraville (Buford Highway) is awfully hard to beat..

You do have a point. I still have relatives who are holdouts in neighboring Chamblee, or should I say Chambodia? It's definitley multi-cultural in that area....to say the very least.

brianarauch#206642 writes:

Only problem with buying from the VA Tech site is that it looks like VT is selling those tickets and not us. Ticket sales obviously mean a lot in getting bowls today (based on the Outback situation)...

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

in response to atlvolsfan:

Did you order at uttix.com? If so, did you have a choice of seat/section? I pre-purchased last week and the range was $60-$80 with no seats/section options available. Apparently UT fans pre-purchased 11,000+ tickets before the announcement. Now on the website, there are only $60 seats left (whatever that means)

Anybody have an idea how this thing works with regards to seats?

The tix requests were posted well before the official announcement came out. They were available for season ticket holders based on a priority points basis. The fact that there's nothing left but $60 seats tells me that the field and lower level tickets are all sold, and only uppers are left.

ctownvol writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Touch o' country in the city"
ARS was dang good. Georgia Rhythym was my favorite from them.

ctownvol writes:

in response to BIGGEST_UT_FAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not much bro. Waiting on the call from my friend over at the Ga Dome to confirm I have my 2 tickets. Last time we played in the Chicken Bowl and Clempson whipped us good, I ended up spending the night downtown in a little trouble. We lost the game and I gained a black eye and a rap sheet. This time is going to be much better!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to mdvol:

Just bought my tix! Hotels in downtown Atlanta are crazy expensive. So much for the recession. Anyone know where the Vols will be staying in Atlanta?

The basketball team stayed at the Marriott Marquis for the tourney..Super nice;close to Marta but very expensive

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Great to see so many Vol fans making the trip;With our atlanta fan base we will rule the stadium..On paper VA Tech is the better team but I can easily see the hokies coming in flat because they have nothing to prove or play for; They blew the season against the tarheels..As for the Vols; we have a chip on our shoulder and this team is still hungry.. If your staying downtown be aware that the panhandlers are better dressed and have a lot of new schemes..The last time I went; twice I almost got in a swinging match with them and this was right in front of the Hyatt..

Weatherman writes:

in response to mdvol:

Just bought my tix! Hotels in downtown Atlanta are crazy expensive. So much for the recession. Anyone know where the Vols will be staying in Atlanta?

Try the Crowne Plaza, Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, 4355 Ashford Dunwoody. It's not too close and not too far away, so there might be some rooms and it's a really nice place...there's also a mall and restaurants across the street for alternate plans, should you need that. GO VOLS!

hdav06#387651 writes:

in response to NavyChiefVol:

I wouldn't get too excited about a wolf in sheep's clothing. They are probably one of the regular lopers, just changed their name.

I bet that is true. Here in Tri cities a lot of people had kids where one or some went to VA Tech and others went to TN. Since they never play each other (until now) it was easy to be fans of both. I know one couple that bought a sweat shirt from each school, cut them apart, and sewed them back togeather with one school on the front, one on the back. However, if you have ever been going North on I-81 after a ball game you know there are thousands of Vol fans in upper East TN.

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